Medical Marijuana and Cancer treatment | cannabisMD

Medical Marijuana and Cancer Treatment

Cancer treatment with medical marijuana

Oncology is the study of treating tumors. Cannabinoids are known to hold therapeutic values for treating chronic pain. They are able to do so through their neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties. Cannabinoids are found in cannabis plants: the marijuana plant (cannabis sativa) and the hemp plant.

The two well-known cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the psychoactive compound in marijuana that gives you the “high” feeling when ingested. CBD is a purely medicinal constituent of cannabis. It gives you the sensation of being relaxed. The endocannabinoid system bares two main cannabinoid receptors, 1 and 2. They allow cannabinoids to bind and work throughout the body. This paper will look at how medical marijuana can actually have a therapeutic value in the field of oncology, cancer treatment, and treating cancer-related pain.

Here is the full scientific article if you wish to download it.

Medical Marijuana has a Therapeutic Potential

In the United States, cannabis used in a medical setting is now legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.)–the capital. State-by-state we have seen changes to medical marijuana laws. Federal law and the federal drug enforcement administration still see cannabis as a schedule I drug. As more states give the green light for medical cannabis, scientists will be better able to research the risks and advantages of application. Cannabis has fewer side effects than most conventional pharmaceuticals, making it low-risk with high potential benefits.

Symptom relief and effectiveness of marijuana for people with cancer is of prime concern. It is a qualifying condition in a few ways. Cannabis in oncology may have plausibility for application as an antiemetic, for refractory cancer suffering, and as an anticancer drug. Synthetic cannabinoids and cannabis have been used to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea, vomiting, and related weight loss.

However, much of the results are not based on clinical studies, but instead are expired, use animal data, or are small experiments. Further clinical trials are needed to properly assess the therapeutic application of cannabis in oncology.

Cannabis May Act as an Antitumor Agent

Marijuana in oncology might have plausibility in its application for:

  • Anticipatory and refractory CINV (chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting)
  • Refractory cancer suffering
  • An antitumor drug

As stated, most of the current results are based on animal experiments and small clinical experiments. Moreover, many of these experiments are out of date and need updated. Further research is required in all regions associated to the therapeutic application of marijuana, THC, and/or other cannabinoids. To be clear, marijuana is not a go-to treatment for any and all cancers or associated side effects. As cannabis legalization, availability, and studies grow cannabis is suspected to have a role in the future of cancer treatment.

Jonathan Neilly
Jonathan Neilly
Jonathan Neilly is registered with the British Psychological Society, breaking the taboo on mental health issues is one of the driving forces in his life. His background in biomedicine gives him additional understanding of the factors that work together to influence the human condition.

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